With Halloween around the corner there will be more partying and people on dark streets. That often means more Accidents and fatalities…yielding fewer smiles.

When Accidents happen, you may not need a lawyer! However, before you talk to an adjuster or police, hire an attorney, or sign any papers, contact me for a FREE ACCIDENT Strategy, Analysis Consultation. If you don't need a lawyer, I will advise and direct you…because you need an Esquire, not an Escort!

When selecting an Accident Lawyer, you need one who has walked in your shoes. Don’t let a lawyer who hasn’t been in your shoes, tell you how to tie your laces!

The age old questions: How Do you Find a Good Accident Lawyer?...and Why Do Some PI Attorneys Settle For More Money? When interviewed by the press, I am always asked these questions. All lawyers say they are the best, and most accident lawyers have similar education and experience. The only way an Accident Victim can get an honest answer, is by going to Martindale Hubbell and Avvo, and read the confidential opinions AND ratings of Judges, Attorneys and Clients.

For 13 years, I have advised readers of my weekly legal column, to only retain a “Local” AV “Pre-eminent” Martindale-Hubbell (MH) rated lawyer, and not some no name, non-local 1-800 lawyer. AV represents the highest and most respected national rating awarded to a select few, reflecting “Confidential Opinions” of Judges and Attorneys familiar with an attorney’s reputation for Legal Ability and Very Trustworthy. MH has been used by all Lawyers for 150 years, to find competent and trustworthy attorneys… in another city. Every lawyer says they are the best! See who Judges and Attorneys select!!!

It is crucial to find an Accident Lawyer, who like me, has walked in your shoes, and one who can “assist” your doctor in preparing a great med/legal report, that generates more money. Many local doctors didn’t learn this in their medical school. The chances are your CV doctor falls into this category…and has been doing it wrong for yearsthus decreasing the value of patients PI cases, and allowing Insurance Adjusters to “Low Ball” offers. Maybe this is why cases in the CV settle for less than in LA. This gives the insurance company an excuse to Deny and Delay settlements, and forcing a case to trial.

There is clearly an art to writing med legal reports that generate more money for the client. I was honored when invited to join the Faculty of the International College of Orthopedic Surgeons, teaching “How to Write a Med/Legal Report” at their Annual Conferences in Beverly Hills. I gave each doctor a 50 page Treating Physicians Manual which provided an “Update on the Management of Back Pain and Back Injury.”

Most local doctors don’t realize, that stating the patient has recovered and is “ok”, or “symptom free”…is the KISS OF DEATH for the patient, client and attorney. Many doctors don’t understand, the Insurance company only pays those damages the patient is able to prove are from the accident.

Instead, the doctor should consider …“Prognosis is Guarded.” If the patient is still symptomatic, the report should indicate a guesstimate of future medical costs and the possibility of recurrent pains and surgery. In other words, professionally guesstimate what the cost would be for doctors, hospitals, anesthesiologist, therapy and loss of work, thereafter.

Many local Palm Springs doctors don’t understand, charging for a medical report will cause the insurance company to back OUT that cost on the bill. Most PI lien doctors, don’t charge for reports, and I assume, absorb the cost when billing for a Comprehensive Initial and Comprehensive Final exam.

Local doctor must learn, if it is not mentioned, then it does NOT exist. If it exists, and is not mentioned, the patient is done a disservice and collects nothing for it. This disagreement of facts causes litigation!

Accident victims should always remain SILENT. "It's not just what you said, but what the insurance company or police, THOUGHT they heard you say.” I advise clients… SILENCE IS GOLDEN and Handcuffs are Silver, So Keep Your Mouth SHUT! DO NOT TALK, SIGN, SETTLE OR DEAL with ANYONE FROM THE INSURANCE COMPANY OR LAW ENFORCEMENT, WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF YOUR LAWYER.

I instruct clients, the Police and Insurance Company are "Not on your Side" and you're "Not in Good Hands," because your "Friendly Neighbor" will not give you "A Piece of the Rock." After your accident, don’t let the insurance company run you over too! You deserve Sound legal advice, not Soundbites!...and there is NO FEE, IF NO RECOVERY.

Ideas for future legal columns? Contact Dale Gribow: 760 837-7500 or [email protected] 

Dale Gribow, Attorney at Law, is a trustworthy award winning “Boutique Concierge” firm, Awarded TOP LAWYER by: AV Martindale Hubbell, Avvo, Google, Justia, PS Life and Inland Empire Magazines...and honored with Dale Gribow Day 4 Times and Man of the Year 7 Times.